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How distributed teams can set, track, and achieve their most important work

Paige Costello, Asana Product Management Leader
Paige Costello, <a href='' target='_blank' style='color:blue !important'>Asana</a> Product Management Leader

Paige Costello, Asana Product Management Leader

Two things are key to your organization’s success: alignment on your strategy and your employees’ commitment to and enthusiasm for that work. Unfortunately, for most companies, the two are disconnected. Company goals might be shared in a slide deck or presented at an all hands, but they’re not carefully tied to the teams’ day-to-day work.

In an ideal world, clarity of plan and clarity of purpose would be the default state of teams. Everyone would know who is doing what, by when, and why they are doing it. We aren’t there yet. With a lack of clarity, employees work less efficiently (misalignment and miscommunication being the norm) and are less satisfied with their work and results. They are more likely to experience burnout as a result. In a time when work is increasingly complex, global, and distributed, an organization’s ability to clearly define and align teams to strategic initiatives has never been more important.

According to a recent study of distributed workplace trends among over 6,000 knowledge workers, only 26% of employees have a very clear understanding of how their individual work relates to company goals and just 16% say their company is very effective at setting and communicating goals. This misalignment is often a symptom of siloed goal-setting, inconsistent communication of goals, and general disconnection and abstraction from everyday work. This lack of clarity leaves employees feeling confused about priorities and where to focus efforts, lack of motivation, and difficulty working with their teammates, the study found.

Clearly communicate and align teams to company objectives

When teams have constant clarity on the company’s priorities, team members make better local decisions to achieve their goals. They can understand: What’s our goal? What’s our strategy for achieving that goal? As a member of this team, how do our goals ladder up to our company’s mission-oriented objectives? And, perhaps most importantly and most often overlooked: why are we working on this project in the first place?

Connect your goals to supporting work and get real-time visibility into progress

According to survey findings from Asana, an overwhelming 82% of employees using a collaborative work management tool say their company is effective at setting and communicating company-wide goals. Moreover, 84% of these employees have a clear understanding of how their individual work relates to their company-wide goals. This trend towards implementing products that enable transparency and collaboration is accelerating software adoption across sectors and functions, especially as organizations adapt to new ways of working together while being physically apart.

As the world shifts to a distributed work environment, companies are seeking tighter ways to keep their teams in sync and achieve their goals. Clearly defined, repeatable processes and habits are key to setting goals, tracking progress, and delivering results efficiently.

Now more than ever, it is imperative to select tools that enable you to set your objectives and track your team’s work in the same place, making it easy to track progress, and securely communicate, collaborate, and coordinate on what matters most.

Engage teams with a sense of purpose

When people feel passion for their work and understand the purpose behind it, they work smarter and deliver more. In fact, research shows that when teams have clarity on how they contribute to company objectives, their engagement at work doubles. With clear, company-wide goals, every employee can see how their work contributes to top-level goals, why certain work is being prioritized, and ultimately how that moves the company towards its vision.

Set, track, and manage goals in one place

To bridge the gap between daily projects and processes and organizational objectives, Asana — a leading work management platform — introduced Goals . Whether your business is staying on course, or needs to pivot, Goals creates alignment for your teams, building resilience for your organization by connecting your goals and OKRs directly to the supporting work. Whether teams are distributed or in-office, Goals ensures your team’s efforts remain focused on the right things. When leaders bridge the divide between company strategy and employee engagement, there’s nothing that can hold them back.

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